Living an aligned life seems so easy, but it turns out to be much harder than we often think when it comes to it. In this blog, I want to explain what it means to live an aligned life.
So, what is an aligned life? You’re living an aligned life when you know exactly who you are, what you value, and how you prioritize certain aspects of your life.
Why is it so hard to live an aligned life?
It is easy to forget who you are. As a child, you know what does and doesn’t bring you joy, but you can forget what your superpowers are when you add learning experiences through the years. You start to believe that you are weak, stupid, or powerless. You forget that life’s natural rhythms greatly influence you, and you also forget that there is something more significant of which you are part of.
Day by day, we follow life’s rules, which have been devised by others. We spend hours a day on social media, which tells us that we’re not good enough. In secret, you may add to that that you will probably never be good enough. We let others tell us who we need to be successful or beautiful, and we believe them. Trying to comply with these rules made me sick.
Being unaligned made me sick.
The sicker I became, the more I tried to find ‘the solution’ in every nook and corner that the Internet and social media brought me. I clicked millions of links, downloaded hundreds of freebies, and consulted dozens of coaches (and therapists) because there was something wrong with me.
My journey out of that swamp of ‘know it all’s’ moved forward when I started to think if there was anything wrong with me in the first place. Opening to the possibility that I might be good enough made things lighter and easier instantly. My only problem now was to find out what I didn’t know.
To know what I didn’t know started with knowing who I am.
Step 1: Know who you are
I could only explain who I was in context to what I DID in life was a first dead give-away, and I got that tip twenty years ago. The group session lives in my memory vividly because I went into an anxiety attack having to introduce myself without talking about my job. I lived and breathed that job (that’s why I burned out. It took me seven rounds to tell them that I am Jolanda. Period. That’s all I knew.
That’s all I knew because I could only see myself through the context of my job. I didn’t know what I loved, what I liked, what I found noteworthy. Everything that others told me was unique about me was ‘normal’ for me. I did not see my superpowers.
I now know that I am smart, I am sensitive, I am a good listener, I love freedom and need to make my decisions from freedom, I can be pretty funny through quick remarks, and I am super good with words, which flow from my keywords smoothly. I can be surprised by my advice (sometimes it’s brilliant, and I don’t know how I know that I know what I know). I love teaching about what I’ve experienced myself, and while teaching, my experience deepens because I explain it in ways I hadn’t thought about yet. This comes from another superpower I have, and that is that I can stream consciousness (channeling). This streaming comes through an energetic sensitivity that I’ve always had. Within one step and a glance in a room, I know what’s going on in a group. I am super good at manifesting when I align myself to it. I have learned a bit over the last decades.
What helped me a lot was understanding who I am at a soul level. I am super grateful that I learned how to do akashic record readings because I now know who I am and my core qualities. The things you do through those qualities often come super easily.
When I have to decide, I can now ask myself: does this bring me an opportunity to express my truth in freedom, instead of wondering and doubting if my decision will be the right one.
If my answer is no, I need to have damn good reasons why I should do it anyway. It has only brought me easier manifesting skills because setting intentions aligned with who you are manifest much more effortlessly.
Step 2: Know what you want.
Knowing what you want can be a difficult journey because, again, you can lose track of what you want. I mean, when I look back over the years, I have had so many ‘passions,’ but some of them only lasted a glorious two weeks. I truly believe in finding out what you want through experimenting, but I may have taken that a tad too far sometimes, including spending hundreds of dollars on stuff that I recently decluttered to the thrift store.
What you want needs to be authentic – it needs to be you. Of course, experimenting can be very authentic, but often I did those experiments because someone around me (or online) was super good at it, so I wanted that as well. I was desperately looking for something that I was good at.
I wanted to be a great watercolor artist, but I didn’t get any further than dotting paint in water drops. And even those were plagiarized examples I saw on YouTube. But you know, it doesn’t matter because every attempt at something that I thought was ‘me’ also taught me who I wasn’t.
I now know that I don’t want to be in one job for the rest of my life. I also want to learn new stuff every year, and that a healthy BMI is not essential for me to than my emotional and mental balance. I know that I suck at watercolor and that running a 5K wrecks my ankles. I liked calligraphy and made reasonably lovely things. Still, when my pen ran dry, I didn’t buy any new ink (and I haven’t purchased any almost 40 years later). I still have a fetish for pens and paper, though.
Step 3: Wat comes easily to you
All those things didn’t come easily to me. Some of them became ‘work’ for which I had to hustle. You may say there isn’t anything wrong with working hard for a result, and I agree. But I have also worked my ass off for a lot of things that didn’t feel good. I have worked myself into burnout. Twice.
After the second burnout, I knew that doing that isn’t my view of being aligned. When I start to hustle for something, I know that I’m out of alignment. When I’m in alignment, I do things that come easily to me. It’s like writing this blog – I enjoy writing it. There may be all kinds of things wrong with it grammatically or in style, but I love feeling how my fingers go over the keyboard – it shows me how easily this comes. My fingers go and keep going. I’m in the flow. I forget the time when I write. It’s like I am driven by a higher source of energy when I do this. Even though I mostly write about myself these days, I also write with a bigger picture. Through my story, I hope you find examples and practices that you can try to help you become happier, more aligned with yourself.
I decided that I was not going to work myself into a third burnout but try to find out for myself how to create an aligned life. I quit everything that I was doing and set myself a goal to sit on the sofa with a book for a whole afternoon. That was three years ago, and I still haven’t done it. I wondered if sitting on the sofa feels like an afternoon on the naughty chair, what do I want to do instead?
Although I love reading books in the middle of the night, I don’t want to do that in the afternoon. I think it is a waste of valuable time when I can also write a blog, play with my cards, journal and make notes from books I’m reading. That’s what I like doing. I don’t do it to impress anyone, and I don’t do it to ‘reach a goal.’ The moment I connect goals to what I love doing, things drive into a brick wall. It needs to flow in freedom.
Step 4: Understanding the patterns that hold you back from an aligned life
Now you know that it is okay to choose things that come easily to you, why aren’t you doing them? It’s because we have patterns in place to prevent us from scary things. It’s because we always need to feel safe. While the life we lead these days seems secure, it isn’t that at all. The dangers we have to overcome are much less visible. While a saber-tooth tiger won’t eat us, nor will a bunch of villains rage through our village and kill every one of our family. We would be happy to have a roof over our heads and some scraps to eat in those days.
Maslow described it all in his Hierarchy of Needs. Now that those days are over, we had to worry about our basic needs; we look out to fulfill our psychological and self-fulfilling needs. Because that process happens inside of us, it is not always clear what’s going on. The eight-stage variation on the model is incredibly fascinating since we’re now moving into the seventh and eighth levels of growth needs.
There is a lot we don’t know yet, and this makes life just as unpredictable as it used to be, so we put up patterns to help us hide (because our brain still thinks from the saber-tooth tiger level).
One of my patterns is looking for a distraction. While writing this blog, I’ve visited at least five websites that were not relevant for research. I need to continually correct myself to finish this blog, because like everybody, my brain wants to play around.
Another pattern of me is to doubt my brilliance. I know I am good at several things, and still, I label them as “anybody can do that.” At the same time, I also know that is not true. Other people cannot read the akashic records as I do, other people can’t write 170,000 words, other people aren’t as funny as I am (sorry, I had to put this one in 😊).
My patterns are up to protect me, but they also keep me from jumping.
Step 5: Having the courage to jump
Once you know what holds you back, you need to have the courage to jump into the deep end of the pool to create an aligned life. The idea is to stand on a diving board, bouncing up and down, and then gracefully jump in the water.
I will be the last one to say this is easy, as I’m not really graceful. I’m way too anxious to jump the diving board up and down and then dive into the water. Memories of belly-flops are still at the forefront of my mind.
I’m a person who may jump up and down a bit on that diving board to then decide to climb down the stairs. I’m only courageous when I see the need for it.
Not jumping has made me pull back programs I have written, books I have not published, ditching blogs with dozens of articles. I have written thousands of essays that now rest in the emptiness of the galaxy, all because they weren’t ‘me’ anymore.
I’ve had dozens of people who wanted to help me to beta-read my manuscript, and I’ve even hired an editor to edit my way too long document for a weight loss book. It was good – until I knew I did not want to publish these 170,000 words concerning weight loss. Weight loss wasn’t my passion; it had become a fight. I feel it will be used differently. It is all right, this way. It will see the light, just not now.
I have other things to do right now. Again, writing this lets me see that I may be procrastinating again, but that is fother for another blog.
As you may have read in this blog, I have a lot of talents to share with you. Please check out my Services page to find out what I can do for you to help you live an aligned life.